The Effect of Pulp Beating on Physical and Mechanical Properties of Paper Developed from Kenaf
Kenaf (Hibiscus cannabinus L.) is addressed as a potential renewable non-food fibre crop used in various industrial applications including pulp and paper industry. Within Malaysia context, the government is strongly promoting the R&D on kenaf as the substitute and cost effective fibre resources for manufacturing particleboard, fibreboard and textiles. For fabrication of speciality papers, it was reported in the literature that the papers’ properties were highly correlated to methods of pulp treatment. The main objective of the work series is to investigate the properties of oil filter paper developed from kenafbast fibre for application in automotive industry. In this article, we report the impacts of pulp treatment to physical and mechanical properties of the oil filter paper products. The kenaf fibre pulp was prepared through soda pulping method using the Soda- Anthraquinone chemical. Then, the pulp were subjected to various beating degree ranging from 1000 - 4000 revolutions and pressed to form paper sheets. All the physical and mechanical properties of the paper sheets were tested according to TAPPI and ISO standards. The results demonstrated that the overall physical and mechanical properties of paper products were influenced and enhanced by the beating process. Kenaf paper sheet at 4000 beating revolution exhibits the best tensile index of 46.79 N.m/g, burst index value of 3.25 kPa.m2/g and 121 Number (No.) of double fold endurance. The strength property of kenaf paper produced at 4000 rev was comparable to the commercial Original Equipment Materials. These data were supported by microstructural observation using the Scanning Electron Microscope (SEM). Micrograph of paper sheet produced under optimized conditions indicates the presence of fines that seemed to increase fibre conformability and improved the inter-fibre bonding within the paper formation. The results implicate the potential development of kenaf fibre to be further explored as a renewable resource for papermaking industry.